Friday, December 31, 2010

A Christmas of Disasters

You've probably have had your fill of Christmas miracle stories so sit back and relax while I regale you with my tiny tale of Christmas disasters.

I promise there will be no shining stars, no magic healing, and no ghosts of Christmas past...nor will I rely on family feuds as a source for Christmas disorder...oh Christmas disasters are on a whole other level.

It all began with a gentle snowfall that soon melted into rain. Shortly after that the sun shone through the clouds and a gentle stream trickled down our street.

That's quite a snowmelt, I'd thought to myself as I watched the water flow. I'd noticed it a couple of days before Christmas after the big snow storm. I'd even made a mental note to be wary of the water as night fell - it was sure to be a river of ice.

But it never did freeze.

Burst water-mains don't freeze...they just pump out water - hour after hour, day after day.

Because I am an alert observer of all things around me, I noticed the water flow at once.

Because I am an idiot, it never occurred to me to look for the origin of the water which happened to be a crack in the pavement right in front of my cabin.

I discovered my error early Christmas morning when there "arose such a clatter" tiny reindeer...just a large grumpy elf with a jack-hammer and three of his surly elf-friends.
You can see the spray of water over the edge of the truck - 10 feet in the air!
Another neighbor had called in the leak so I felt the least I could do was offer these worker-elves some Christmas treats. I'd just baked some old-fashioned oatmeal toffee (a treat from my childhood) that would be perfect...except that my lack of high-altitude cooking skills had somehow transformed my tasty treat into oatmeal concrete.

Just getting it out of the pan was a nightmare. Knives were useless so I employed a combination of chiseling and water.

It took me 3 hours to dissolve and scrape my way to the bottom of the pan.

To his credit, Dave stopped short of advising me to take it out to help the men PATCH the leak...he's well-aware that domestic violence increases around the holidays - no doubt due to cooking commentary from unthinking husbands.

I baked up another batch being careful to extract the oatmeal toffee right after it came out of the oven this time. Sadly, by the time it was done, the elves had completed their task and headed for home.
Yummy on round two!
All things good and bad happen in threes, right? Christmas disaster #3 was the Beef Goulash I cooked for dinner...

Looks yummy enough...
It smelled divine...and it looked divine...but the taste? What's the opposite of divine? So I set it out in the snow...

I was trying to cool it enough to refrigerate...maybe I'd had too many Christmas cocktails...
 Meanwhile back at the our parallel universe, the pavement was opening up and water began to leak...

This time I called the city myself...

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